Director of Programs
While there may be an uphill battle on the federal level to pass any meaningful laws that will protect women’s health, we’re certainly not going to sit idly by, especially when there is hope and opportunity for change! States still have a lot of power to pass legislation that will increase our right to know and stop the use of chemicals that harm our health.
That’s why Women’s Voices for the Earth has teamed up with the Breast Cancer Fund and the Environmental Working Group to co-sponsor the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act (SB 258) in California. The bill has been introduced by Senator Lara and requires all ingredients used in household AND institutional cleaning products to be listed directly on the product label.
If it passes companies will no longer be able to keep ingredients linked to birth defects, cancer, fertility problems, allergens, and asthma a secret. Knowledge=Power. Giving women the right to know what’s in cleaning products will give us the power to avoid chemicals that may harm our health.
And there’s an additional bonus. When companies are forced to disclose ingredients, it may lead to reformulation to eliminate the use of nasty toxic chemicals. That’s what happened with Procter and Gamble revealed what fragrance ingredients they don’t use. Disclosure will enable us to select safer products, creating a market demand that will shift the entire cleaning product industry to use less harmful ingredients.
Californians won’t be the only ones to benefit. Legislation that passes in California tends to have a national impact because the state’s economy is the largest in the US. That means if cleaning companies label in California, it will likely push these companies to disclose in other states, too.
So remember, there are still a lot of opportunities to pass policies that will protect women’s health. In addition to California, 21 states are considering policies to protect people from toxic chemicals.
Want to get involved? Contact Women’s Voices and we’ll let you know what you can do in your state.